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How do I submit a customs declaration

You can submit an import declaration once the transport company (e.g. Posti) or the warehouse keeper has notified you of the arrival of the goods. The arrival notice contains the arrival ID or the MRN, which you need for the customs declaration.

  1. Submit the customs declaration within the specified time limit. If you have the required details of the goods and all the import requirements are met, it may only take a couple of minutes to declare the goods.
  2. You will receive the goods immediately after customs clearance and payment of the customs invoice. If you have an authorisation for payment deferment granted by Customs, you will receive the goods after customs clearance, but you can pay the customs invoice

Please note that you can in some cases submit a customs declaration before the goods arrive in Finland. Read more about submitting an import declaration in advance

Who submits the customs declaration?

The business (importer) is responsible for declaring the goods. In practice, the customs declaration can be submitted by

  • the importer
  • by a representative authorised by the importer to submit the customs declaration. The representative must present a power of attorney to Customs on request. Read more about acting as a representative.

Different ways to declare goods

  • Submit an import declaration online in the Customs Clearance Service.
  • You can also apply for message declarant status if your business lodges a large number of customs declarations. Message exchange requires investments by the business. 
  • Declarations for simplified procedures or special procedures can also be lodged using the SAD form.

In the customs declaration, choose the right customs procedure and the appropriate nature of transaction according to the purpose of use.

The most common customs procedure is release for free circulation.

Don’t forget to apply for identifiers and authorisations

Points to consider

A single import declaration can cover only one means of transport. This means that an individual import declaration can contain details only on a single train car. 

If you declare goods directly from the train car, be sure to provide the train car number as the identifier for the means of transport in a standard import declaration. This information is to be entered under “Arrival transport means”. As for simplified declarations, this information is not included. 

If goods under temporary storage or customs warehousing is imported by rail, and you submit an import declaration for the goods (previous procedure 00 or 71), enter “Train” as the identifier of the means of transport.

A split consignment means that goods specified in one contract are arriving in separate consignments or that goods specified in one transport document are arriving at different times due to technical issues. The goods of split consignments arrive from the same consignor addressed to the same consignee under the same terms of contract.

If the import declarations of split consignments are lodged immediately after arrival without placing the goods under temporary storage or customs warehousing, a separate declaration must be submitted for each consignment. Only goods that have arrived in Finland can be cleared by Customs. 

If you don’t know what goods the consignment that has arrived contains, you can, for a charge, request an examination of the goods.

Split consignments can be included in one declaration if all the goods of the split declaration are placed under temporary storage or customs warehousing and all the information needed can be submitted in the declaration. In addition, the goods must have the same mode of transport. The declaration cannot be submitted as a pre-lodged declaration (D), but must always be lodged in a standard form as a complete declaration, i.e. the additional declaration type A.

Please note when declaring split consignments:

  • Provide all the previous documents relating to the goods you are declaring using their specific document codes. Read more: The previous document must be provided in the import declaration.
  • Provide as the identifier of the means of transport the identifiers of all the means of transport of the split consignments. Separate the identifiers, for example, by a slash (/). A single import declaration can cover as many split consignments as there is room for identifiers of means of transport. The maximum number of allowed characters in the data field is 35. 

The other declaration header details in the customs declaration must be the same for all arrived items:

  • nature of transaction
  • term of delivery
  • mode of transport at the border
  • nationality of means of transport
  • inland mode of transport
  • type of identification of transport
  • country of dispatch
  • country of destination
  • location of goods
  • proposed control location

The company completes the SAD form. The form can be completed in advance online, and then it must be printed on self-copying paper.

Customs' printed forms are sold at PunaMustas online store. The paper SAD must be submitted to the customs office that is closest to the goods and offers customs clearance services, during the opening hours of the office. Postal parcels can only be cleared at certain customs offices.

Contact information and customs offices
Customs declaration (SAD)